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Posted on Sun Sep 27th, 2020 @ 1:16pm by Lieutenant JG Reagan Quinn & Captain Mei Xiang Sun

Mission: Neither Past nor Future
Location: USS Shanghai (2399)
Timeline: 2399 - Supplemental

[Captain's Quarters]

Sun blinked and stared at the holographic display in front of her. "You're kidding me?"

The image of another officer shook his head. "I'm sorry. He turned in his resignation suddenly."

"What exactly am I supposed to do, Commander? We're losing engineers like..." She held up a hand in frustration. "I was already using Lieutenants as CEO - and the Fleet promised a veteran engineer as a replacement."

"We have a shortage of good engineers. I'll keep looking but it will take a few weeks."

"Forget it - I can't keep pushing my engineers like this with the hope that at some point they'll get a damn permanent CEO," She waved a hand back to the small children in her quarters chuckling a bit at her frustration. "Don't," She barked at one of them that she knew was about to say something about her cursing, "I'll just find someone on my crew willing to step up."

"You have mostly junior officers, Captain. I really don't..." The hologram said quietly.

"Look, I need a steady engineer. Someone my team can look to and knows that they have their back. Especially out here. So I'll find someone. I'll put in a request if I can't find anyone." She shook her head. "I have work to do... Sun out." She waved her hand harshly, disrupting, and shutting down the hologram with a bit of a groan. "Computer, start a search. All Shanghai personnel in engineering with at least four years of experience. Prioritize previous command or management roles, and due for a promotion. And search public records for an indication of personal desire to move up to Chief positions. Cross-reference with available personnel reports from superior officers for same. Alert me when you're done."

The computer chimed. Mei turned back to her kids behind her and took a breath. "Get ready for bed - you'll probably get to see Christine and Locke for about two minutes before - so if you want more time, go fast." That was all the incentive the hybrid twins needed and they bounced into action as Mei turned to get together her Yeoman and XO to go through this information. It was odd hours, but she wanted this done.

The computer took an hour to go through the records, and it took another hour or two to go through all the documents. In the end, she had a handful of candidates from within her team that could take the role. And with that information she let her XO head back to her quarters, and had Locke call the officers in question.

-----

Reagan was in engineering, trying to keep everything running smoothly. The CEO had put in his resignation without any notice so someone had to pick up the extra slack. On the plus side, she loved engineering. On the down side, she had limited sleep since the CEO had resigned and was starting to lose her patience with the impulse manifolds that did not want to purge properly. She slammed her fist into the console, frustrated and getting more irritable by the minute.

"Yeoman Locke to Lieutenant Quinn -" the comms chimed, "Sorry for the late hour, but Captain Sun would like to meet with you in her Office - attached to her Quarters, not the ready room. Can you be there in fifteen minutes?" The Yeoman asked quickly.

"Fifteen minutes?" Reagan sighed, realizing that she'd have to leave the purge and return to finish it later. "I'll head that way now."

She made her way to the Captain's office, straightening her uniform and trying to make herself look as presentable as possible under the given circumstances. Why does the Captain want to see me? She wondered, trying to remember if there was something she had done wrong recently that would've resulted in being called to the "principal's office" so to speak.

Reagan gave herself a final once over as she arrived and then pressed the chime for the door and waited for a response.

Mei had been yawning when the door chimed, and she took a minute to catch her breath before she had her voice back. "Enter," She finally spoke as she stood and moved about the small office.

“Lieutenant JG Reagan Quinn, reporting as requested.” She stated as she walked up to the Captain’s desk.

Sun's Office was not as big as her Ready Room - just a portion of a room with a bit of privacy that she could use attached to her quarters. It was a necessity being a single parent, so it was included as part of her suite. She had taken the time to make it a cozy room, though. It had a small desk with holographic displays and an old screen display. Her personal accouterments were scattered about the shelves, the desk, and a small sitting area, not unlike her ready room. Here, she didn't have as many pictures or reminders of family, though, apart from one hologram of her and a trill man. As the young officer entered the room, Mei stood and gave a quick bow, "Sorry for the late hour - I'll try not to keep you for too long," She spoke as she rose back up. "I'm sure you're aware of the issue in Engineering. There is an update, and that is that the replacement promised due to the resignation, opted to turn down the posting. So, I need to find an engineering lead... preferably one that will stick around." She took a long breath and motioned toward one of the seats near the desk. "So, I'm talking to my engineers, trying to find out who could do the job from our own team. Any thoughts?"

Reagan wasn’t one to boast of her own abilities. She wanted to become CEO one day, but she wanted it based on her abilities not because she could sweet talk herself into the position.

“Well, ma’am, I think most of the ‘senior’ officers that are left in engineering could do the job. LTJG Remmen has real promise, she’s an excellent engineer. The same applies to LTJGs Kimeron and Smith. Any of us would be up for the job and we’ve all been here this long, so I don’t think you have to worry about us leaving. Our loyalties lie with you.” She paused for a moment, carefully considering her next words.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned though. With the turnover rate and the absence of a CEO, we’re short staffed. Everyone is putting in extra hours and it’s wearing on them. I can see it. We have one of the best engineering teams in the quadrant, but I’m becoming increasingly worried that if an emergency arose, the team would be too exhausted to properly handle it at this rate. I’m doing what I can to keep it in check, but it won’t be long before engineering is filled with nothing but sleep deprived zombies.” Reagan looked at the Captain with sincerity. She knew that Mei was doing the best she could and didn’t want to add more stress to the pile, but didn’t see an alternative.

"That's what I thought," Mei said with a little nod of her head. "All things considered, I think the team has kept us running pretty well." She had weighed her options but wasn't ready to say yes to any one person just yet. "I'm of the mindset that declaring an acting CEO wouldn't be effective. I think someone needs to be able to say that this is their engineering." She paused for a moment, "That being said, any of you would be low rank. How would you go about putting an uppity Commander in logistics in his place when they turn down a request?" The Captain asked, leaning back slightly. She thought she had worded that well - with a bit of a trap in there for the young officer to stumble into or around.

“Well I guess that depends. If what engineering needs from logistics is vital to the safety of the ship then I don’t care what rank you are, the ship’s safety takes priority. In that case I’d likely explain the situation to the Commander and if they still wouldn’t budge then I’d march down to logistics myself and put them in their place if necessary. If it’s not vital and there is a reasonable explanation as to why we can’t get the item then I would accept the refusal.” Reagan responded. She respected the command structure and knew it was vital to a well run ship, but rank no longer mattered when the safety of the crew came into play, at least in her mind.

"Mhm." Mei purposefully tried to avoid showing her thoughts on the answer, instead she moved on to the next. An early career as an instructor made that a bit easier for her than some commanders. "And another," She spoke softly. "Hypothetically. A red alert is called... and engineering can't raise the bridge. Requests from other departments start coming to your department looking for any senior staff member for orders. Diagnostics show that the bridge is physically cut off, but the officers there are likely still alive." She leaned back and watched the officer.

“I would find whoever the senior staff member was and inform them of the situation. Then I’d recommend that we get an engineer working to re-establish communications to the bridge as quickly as possible and send someone physically to the bridge to see what was going on. I’d consider the senior staff member to be in charge until communications were re-established.” She paused for a moment. “Ma’am, why all of the questions?” Reagan asked, wondering what reason the Captain had for the pop quiz and also hoping that the questioning would be over soon. She still had to finish purging the impulse manifolds and she wanted to have enough time left over to get in at least a couple of hours of sleep.

Mei nodded, "Fine, we'll skip to the point." She said crossing her arms. "I'm tired of waiting on Starfleet. I need someone I can count on at CEO, and I need it officially. So, I'm making an officer we already have into that." She shook her head, "Your profile and notes on the previous posting indicated a drive and desire. Your record here is good. So, you're on my shortlist, to say the least." She held up a hand, "But to be clear, there are over a thousand people on this ship, I am hesitant to put engineering in the hands of a junior officer. Ops, Conn... I wouldn't hesitate. But, it is a big department that demands respect and can be a challenge even for seasoned officers..." She seemed to distract herself for a moment, "Or if we were on a smaller ship. Maybe even a Medium cruiser. I wouldn't have asked." She shook her head. "I was thrust into Second Officer of an Akira in 2385, and very rapidly into XO after Mars..." She took a breath. "I know it is possible, but it is a challenge. I need to know you can do it, and more than that, that you want to do it enough to burn through that struggle."

Reagan didn’t immediately respond, instead choosing to digest everything that the Captain had said. Admittedly, this wasn’t the conversation she expected when she entered the office and being a junior officer she hadn’t truly considered taking a CEO position yet. Having essentially served as the CEO the past few days since the last holder of the title put in his resignation, she knew it was a lot of responsibility and a tough job.

“I can do it,” Reagan finally responded with a look of determination. “And I think I’ve more than shown that I have the burn to struggle through the challenge. I mean, I’ve been here for a few years and haven’t thrown in the towel yet. I want to be clear though, if you give me this position, I want it to be because I’ve earned it. Not purely a last minute move of utter desperation or because I’ve sweet talked my way into it.”

"Trust me. If I didn't know you would qualify normally for a CEO position in a year or two, I wouldn't be considering you," She smirked, "By the book, you need more experience - but that comes with doing." She shook her head. "There would be changes. I've been told I'm not the usual CO. Early morning meetings, breakfast provided. I expect Chiefs to be on Alpha shift, but on call at all times - so generally we do 'shortened' alpha, which will piss off the unobservant on your team. I expect written reports at least once a week, and I need them on time. Junior staff is expected to be part of major meetings." She sighed, "Any thoughts or questions?"

“I prefer to be up early in the mornings anyways and I’m already on call for engineering so you’ve no arguments from me as long as the replicator still continues to produce a decent cup of coffee,” Reagan smirked. “Is there anything else that you’ll need from me, or anything else you need tonight? I still need to get the impulse manifolds purged before I leave engineering tonight and I’d like to snag an hour or two of sleep before reporting for Alpha shift early in the morning.”

"Delegate it," Sun said simply, "You need to go by logistics in the next couple of days to get a new quarters assignment. Touch base with Commander Barnes as soon as possible, you'll need your security credentials reworked and the Commander will likely want to go over day to day issues.. Your priority once the paperwork goes through is to get the command team a list of Engineering positions and supplies we need, anything we're behind on, and general needs to catch up on. Beyond that, it'll be your department."

Reagan nodded as she stood up from her chair, “Understood. Anything else ma’am?”

"One more thing," Mei said quietly, "I don't mean to sound cruel - but I won't hold back, and will expect the same sort of drive I would expect from a full commander in the position." The Captain spoke quietly, "With respect to the learning curve. Given your rank, the Commander and I will be watching your progress more closely than others though, so be aware, and be honest. I don't have a lot of time for egos." She said before standing and giving a small nod. "You are dismissed."

“I wouldn’t expect anything less. Have a good night ma’am, and thanks for the opportunity,” Reagan smiled as she turned and walked out of the office. Taking on the CEO position without all of the experience that typically accompanied it would be a challenge. However, it was one that was right up her alley and, although apprehensive about all of the new responsibility, she was excited to take it on.

 

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